Does anyone have any tips or tricks on checking in early when you reach your destination earlier that expected. Often times I arrive for a afternoon meeting early and I just need to change clothes and freshen up before the meeting. It would be awesome to be able to check in to my room earlier than the standard check in time. Sometimes it is even later than that if the room isn't ready. I would even be willing to pay by the hour if needed. I just need the room earlier! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Hi riverm. This is usually dependent on the individual property and the availability of rooms. Calling the hotel in advance is always a good way to see where they stand. I'm sure some of our frequent travelers will have their tips and tricks on this matter too.
Last year when the Washington Redskins were marching towards the playoffs and after driving 10 hours I tried to check-in at noon and the hotel clerk said my room wasn't ready yet. I politely informed her (hotel clerk....associate ) that the Redskins don't win a lot and only make the playoffs once in a blue moon yada yada . She politely told me I could watch the game in the lobby. Hahaha. Well, I offered her $20 and boom chicka wah wah a room suddenly became available.
Calling ahead of time and speaking with a assistant manager would be your best bet to get an early check in as the associates tend to be hit or miss for doing anything above and beyond. Some are great, but some are as dry as the Sahara Desert. Do not leave it up to just checking you want a early arrival on the reservation. Most of the time your preferences aren't even looked at IME.
wesleywc, have you read the book "Heads in Beds"? The author claims to be a hospitality industry veteran, and the basic premise of his book is that all things become possible if you tip (bribe?) basically everyone you come across in the hotel. It's an interesting book. I didn't love it, but I would recommend it for those of us who travel a lot. I'm not sure it's a trustworthy information manual, but it is rather entertaining.
I have always found that contacting the hotel direct a couple of days before has worked - except once! I think that a well managed hotel will do their best to prioritise the order the rooms are serviced to try to accommodate a guest if they know they are arriving early, especially an Elite Rewards member.
The one exception was in York, when to be fair we were checking in on a Sunday. They had a wedding there the day before, and a huge number of guests had stayed the night, and gone for the late check out option. The hotel servicing was in a real muddle. So they were handing out drinks vouchers for the bar like confetti. We eventually said "Look, we don't want to get drunk. We just want to get into our room!" But they did their best, and apologised profusely.
I would suggest the mobile app since you can let the hotel what time you are arriving. if its really early they might be able to get you a room thats been cleaned already. Though try not to be picky as far as room assignment since the rooms in better location might still be occupied or dirty.
riverm, one trick I've learned is to ask whether you might have a key to the gym or spa locker room if the property has one and your room isn't ready. This is almost always on option at MVCI properties and at FS hotels with facilities.
When I get the mobile app notification that I can check in the day before, I put my arrival time in (early or not). I have always gotten the notification my room is ready prior to my arrival. May have to do partially with elite status, but from others I travel with doesn't seem to be the case. The funniest check in story is when I checked in the day before my 1 PM arrival at the next day at the Gaithersburg Marriott. I got a notification at 6 AM that my room was ready before I had left the airport in Albuquerque. Now thats an early check in.